Alerts



Fraud Alert

Cybercriminals Trick Victims into Transferring Funds to "Reverse" Instant Payments
(Excerpts of information copied from Federal Bureau of Investigation Public Service Announcement)

This scam targets users of digital payment apps meant for the quick transfer of funds between registered users. The scam starts when a cybercriminal sends financial institution customers an automated text message similar to the following:

Free Msg- (Insert financial institution name here) Bank Fraud Alert- Did You Attempt an Instant Payment in the amount of $5,000.00? REPLY YES or NO or 1 To STOP ALERTS

The payment amount and financial institution name changes from victim to victim. If customers reply to the text with "No," a follow-up message is sent:

Our fraud specialist will be contacting you shortly

The criminals - who typically speak English without a discernable accent - then call the victim from a number which appears to match the financial institution's legitimate 1-800 support number, and claim to represent the institution's fraud department. Once the criminal establishes credibility, they walk the victim through the various steps needed to "reverse" the fake instant payment transaction referenced in the text message. Victims are then swindled into sending payment to bank accounts under the control of the cyber actors.

The FBI recommends the following precautions:

  • Be wary of unsolicited requests to verify account information. Cyber actors can use email addresses and phone numbers which may then appear to come from a legitimate financial institution. If a call or text is received regarding possible fraud or unauthorized transfers, do not respond directly.
  • If an unsolicited request to verify account information is received, contact the financial institution's fraud department through verified telephone numbers and email addresses on official bank websites or documentation, not through those provided in texts or emails.
  • Enable Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) for all financial accounts, and do not provide MFA codes or passwords to anyone over the phone.
  • Understand financial institutions will not ask customers to transfer funds between accounts in order to help prevent fraud.
  • Be skeptical of callers that provide personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers and past addresses, as proof of their legitimacy. The proliferation of large-scale data breaches over the last decade has supplied criminals with enormous amounts of personal data, which may be used repeatedly in a variety of scams and frauds.
The Build Back Better Act proposed by President Biden is under review in Congress. The review process includes developing a proposal to determine how to pay for the cost of implementing the Act. The proposal includes expanded reporting requirements for financial institutions.  Specifically, financial institutions would be required to report annual inflows and outflows totaling $600 or more for all accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

Congressional intent is to ensure Americans honor their tax obligations, particularly business owners who may underreport income. Trade organizations for all financial institutions, including NAFCU and CUNA, strongly oppose the proposed IRS reporting requirements on the following grounds:

  • The proposal creates a significant burden on financial institutions and small business owners
    • Reporting on the gross inflows and outflows above $600 will create an enormous amount of additional data filing with the IRS at a significant cost to financial institutions
    • In past public testimony, IRS representatives have stated the IRS does not have the capacity to utilize the current level of data filing, rendering additional data filing ineffective at best
    • Financial institutions will be required to design new tracking and reporting systems across all delivery channels to ensure regulatory compliance which is especially burdensome on smaller financial institutions due to a lack of economies of scale
    • Small business owners will be burdened with increased tax preparation costs when so many small businesses are already struggling for survival
  • The proposal creates significant consumer privacy and data security concerns
    • Reporting requirements violate consumers’ personal privacy by forcing financial institutions to provide the IRS with information that does not reflect taxable activity
    • Violations of personal privacy will lead more individuals to be “unbanked,” destroying decades of effort to improve financial literacy and financial well-being at all socio-economic levels
    • The IRS is a frequent target of cyber criminals and has suffered significant data breaches due to its decades old data systems, which creates a grave concern when considering the tremendous amount of additional sensitive financial data reported
Please contact your United States Senator and House Representative and ask them to oppose the new IRS reporting provisions in the Build Back Better Act. To find your legislators, go to:


 
East Texas Professional Credit Union will NEVER request any personal financial information from you through email, social media or text. We will only require identifying information when YOU CONTACT US via phone.
 
For your security, please DO NOT respond to any phone calls, emails, social media messages or texts that request personal information, even if it appears that the contact came from a company that you typically conduct business with. If you receive a contact that requests personal information, DO NOT RESPOND, or click on any links within the message or use any phone numbers provided in the message. Instead, contact the company yourself using publicly published contact information and report any suspicious communication.
 
Don’t be a victim. Scams involving mobile devices are on the increase, and many new methods are being utilized.
 
Please remember, ETPCU personnel will NEVER ask for your PIN. Additionally, if you have a question about any correspondence you receive, call the Credit Union at 903-323-0230 or 800-256-5009. If you are calling after normal business hours about your debit or credit card, please call the number on the back of your card. To ensure you are speaking with ETPCU personnel, do not call any other number provided in an alert or message.